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Trying to Reduce the Risk of Getting Sick: 5 Smart Tips to Work from Home

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Staying home from work because you’re sick, or afraid to get sick? You’re not alone. As the coronavirus sweeps through the US, many companies are encouraging their workers to help prevent the spread and work from home.

However, this year’s flu season might be accelerating the adoption of remote working, but many companies have been trending towards remote positions already for years. If you’ve been thinking about inquiring about working remotely from home, the opportunity has never been better.

Many people are discovering the joys – and health benefits – of working from home. Read on to learn why and how you can enjoy comfortable productivity no matter where you work.

The Benefits of Working Remotely

Did you know that around 26 million Americans work remotely at least once or twice a week? That’s a 115 percent increase from 15 years ago when telecommuting was still an obscure, mystifying concept.

It’s only getting more popular, too. Some estimates have predicted that half of the US workforce will be remote by the mid-2020s. There’s also a growing body of companies that hire exclusively remote workers. (According to market research, they made up about 16 percent of the workforce in 2018.)

That’s a lot of people working in their pajamas.

Remote work has steadily gained traction over the past decade because of the many advantages that it offers to employees and businesses. For workers, the ability to work from home proves attractive for a whole constellation of reasons. Some of the most cited ones in surveys have included:

  • Fewer distractions: 65 percent of respondents to FlexJob’s annual survey preferred working at home due to minimal office politics, a quiet environment, and fewer distractions.
  • Environmental impacts: Global Workplace Analytics, which analyzes the surveys of the America Community Survey from the US Census Bureau, found that telecommuters reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to around 600,000 cars every year.
  • Better morale: Employees overwhelmingly reported feeling satisfied with their jobs – some 42 percent of fully remote workers surveyed had remained with a company for over five years.
  • Health benefits: According to Indeed’s remote worker survey, over half of all respondents felt that working from home reduced sick days. Some 86 percent claimed it reduced their stress.

Sold yet? We are.

How to Stay Productive When You Work from Home

Look, we get it – it’s hard to imagine someone lounging around all day in their PJs, with their favorite mug and pet both at hand. It sounds just a bit too good to be true, right?

Although there aren’t any surveys done on how many full-time remote workers actually get dressed every day, there’s lots of research showing that home workers get way more done than their office-bound counterparts.

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Of course, to truly be productive when you work from home, you still need to do some planning. So, whether you’re working from home to avoid the coronavirus, recovering from a cold, or have recently secured a new remote position, here are a few tips to get you primed for maximum pajama-powered productivity. 

1. Choose a Spot Where You Can Focus

Pick your work spot with care. Your bed is comfy, but it’s probably not a great workspace. Your kitchen table might be too central of a location – and if you live with others, you might find your space compromised.

Instead, choose a spot that you can turn into your designated home office setup. If remote work is a long-term thing, you may want to consider a special work desk. Try to find a place that is:

  • Quiet and relatively secluded
  • Has lots of natural light and airflow
  • Minimizes distractions (looking out a window might not be the best move for everyone)

2. Optimize Your Office Space

Your at-home office doesn’t need to look like a hacked-together DIY job. As a professional, you deserve a professional work environment no matter where you are. Plus, optimizing it with the right tools will amplify your productivity all around. Consider an ergonomic setup for your home office that includes:

3. Stretch Frequently

Your home might seem psychologically more comfortable, but you still need to tend to your physical comforts. Remember to stop and stretch.

A good rule of thumb is to take a quick five-minute break every hour or so, and a longer break every three hours. Many apps exist both on your phone and computer that can help you set reminders. Likewise, follow the 20-20-20 rule throughout the day: take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and look at something at least 20 feet away.

4. Make Healthy Choices

Working at home can sometimes require a bit more self-discipline than working at the office. After all, you’ve got all of your creature comforts immediately available. However, making good choices supports your overall productivity and health

  • Resist the urge to raid your fridge when you crave munchies: Prepare healthy meals ahead of time, which you can simply heat up while on your break.
  • Drink lots of water: Dehydration impacts your ability to focus and stay productive.
  • Stay on schedule: Without a boss looking over your shoulder, the temptation to hang out on Facebook increases. Consider installing an extension on your browser to block non-work-related sites during specific hours to force you to get more done.
  • Wash your hands frequently: You might not be leaving your home, but germs can still find their way in. Keep calm and keep washing your hands.

5. Use an Air Purifier

We spend most of our time indoors, and that has an impact on indoor air quality. Remote work can impact the quality of your air in your home, so take steps to minimize them. Use a FreshView™ Air Purifier to filter out sickness, dust, or anything else floating in your environment. Fresher air minimizes your chance of getting sick and encourages you to breathe easy.

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Stay Comfortable No Matter Where You Are with Kensington

With this year’s cold and flu season reaching epic proportions, many companies are encouraging their employees to work from home. Such flexible working has numerous benefits, including helping to prevent the spread of sickness.

Whether you’re avoiding sickness or embracing a new lifestyle of flexible working, we’ve provided a few simple tips to outfit you for success. Go forth and embrace maximum productivity in maximum comfort.

Stay on top of your game even if you’re under the weather with Kensington’s ergonomic solutions.

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